Grass Valley Marijuana committee updates council with dispensary discussion |

Grass Valley Marijuana committee updates council with dispensary discussion

Grass Valley council member Jan Arbuckle, also a member of the city's marijuana ad-hoc committee, explains a recent coversation she had with the "cannabis czar" while researching options for the city of Grass Valley regarding cannabis during Tuesday night's meeting.
Elias Funez/ |

The Grass Valley City Council opted to postpone any action regarding a medical marijuana dispensary to be located within the city during a council meeting Tuesday. Citing consensus from a previously formed ad-hoc committee, the council decided to wait until after the Nov. 8 election to continue the discussion.

Vice Mayor Howard Levine, who was a member of the ad-hoc committee along with council member Jan Arbuckle, Police Chief Alex Gammelgard, as well as a few members from the community, shared impressions from a tour of three differing cannabis dispensaries in Sacramento.

The first he described as having Jimi Hendrix posters on the wall that he labeled more as a head shop.

“I’m not trying to deny my involvement in the 60s, but it was very much that kind of attitude and it did seem medicinal, but it felt like a turnstyle,” he said. Next he described what he called the “Apple store” of medicinal marijuana, before describing the third, which he said had more of a holistic approach.

Levine also noted a visit to a manufacturer, as well as a testing lab, and noted that Sacramento requires two armed guards at all times outside of dispensaries.

“That is the important aspect of what we are talking about, cannabis as a medical need,” Levine said. “But when you go to these mills, you feel like you’re in a cyclone of abuse, and when you talk to the proprietors, about the problems with the federal government, it is a whole ’nother world. It is excruciatingly painful about how this whole process works.”

Levine went on to suggest what he would like done in the city.

“For me, it’s about what we see our community looking like, how we see certain people in our community, how open these dispensaries are to the public, and if we were to do a dispensary — and I would advocate that we do one — that we don’t hide them away,” he said. “That they aren’t clandestine.”

Arbuckle was quick to jump in the discussion.

“I think … what we need right now is to provide direction to the council on where do we go from here,” she said. “I think that one of the things of where we go from here is that we aren’t ready to have the dispensary discussion. I think we need to wait until after the election to find out what happens with the Adult Use of Marijuana Act because that could change a lot of things.”

Dan Miller, Nevada County District 3 supervisor and former mayor of Grass Valley, was in the audience during Tuesday’s meeting and also agreed with city’s consensus to wait until after the election and suggested inviting them to the table when the county also decides to pick the issue back up.

To contact Staff Writer Elias Funez, email or call 530-477-4230.

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